Banff National Park
Includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, leaders, trail maps and narratives. Note that for our stay at the remote Shadow Mountain Lodge, toilet and shower facilities are located in a different building, and the lodge is not accessible to the van.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Calgary and Lake Louise prior to and following tour.
Not included: Airline service to Calgary International Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:30 am
In so many ways, Lake Louise symbolizes the magic of the Canadian Rockies. Lake Louise is, at the very least, the portal through which we enter a true alpine fantasyland containing the backdrop of Victoria Glacier, the towering Temple Mountain and its glacial cap, the proximity of stunning Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.
And so, Lake Louise was the obvious choice as the focal point for a Canadian Rocky Mountain hiking trip. We’ll arrive in Lake Louise early-afternoon of Day 1 (we’ll provide a van shuttle from the Calgary airport early-morning) in time to hike leisurely along and above the lake to Lake to Agnes Tea House before dinner.
On Day 2, we’ll shuttle the short distance to Moraine Lake and trek through the flowering meadows of beautiful Larch Valley, surrounded by the spectacular spires of the Ten Peaks that hover above the valley, to the awesome switchbacks leading to majestic Sentinel Pass. The views from Sentinel’s summit are incredible; the expanse of the awesome Paradise Valley unfolds before us to the north while the snowclad summits of the Ten Peaks fills the southern horizon. We’ll return to Larch Valley for a visit to nearby Eiffel Lake along a trail that perhaps offers the most spectacular views of Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks (12 miles).
We’ll depart Lake Louise early morning of Day 3 to begin a three-day backcountry adventure you won’t soon forget. We’ll van shuttle to the Vista Lake Trailhead at the summit of Vermillion Pass near the Continental Divide and descend immediately to Vista Lake. As you may have guessed, we’ll then climb to beautiful Arnica Lake, whose shores are ablaze with the abundant blooms for which the lake is named. Our trail leads to the picturesque Twin Lakes and then climbs to the tundra at timberline astride Gibbons Pass. A rapid descent and we’re at magnificent Shadow Lake, a backcountry jewel in the heart of Banff National Park, and our home for the next two nights (9 miles). **Understand this is a back country lodge, inaccessible from our van and civilization. Individual log cabins add to the charm; solar power lights, propane heating and a wash basin are provided in each cabin; the hot showers and toilets are close by but not in your cabin.
Difficult though it may sound, an incredible reward awaits those hardy souls willing to leave the delicious warmth of down-quilted beds at sunrise and hike the 1/2-mile to Shadow Lake. As the sun rises and illuminates the crown of rugged Ball Mountain, its reflection in the glassy, still waters of Shadow Lake is a photographer’s fantasy. We’ll return to the lodge for the usual hearty breakfast, pack lunches from a sumptuous spread, and then hike from the Lodge beyond Shadow Lake to beautiful Haiduk Lake, nestled at the base of Whistling Pass (10 miles). On Day 5, following another incredible Shadow Lake breakfast, we’ll hike leisurely along Red Earth Creek in a long descent into the Bow River Valley (9 miles). We’ll pause at Johnston Canyon and hike along the falls that tumble through this narrow chasm (2 miles). On Day 6, our final hike takes us into the Consolation Lakes and the conclusion of our hiking tour.
|Day 1||Group assembles in Lake Louise, hike to Lake Agnes Tea House||3|
|Day 2||Moraine Lake - Larch Valley - Sentinel Pass - Eiffel Lake||10|
|Day 3||Vista Lake - Arnica Lake - Gibbons Pass - Shadow Lake||9|
|Day 4||Haiduk Lake||11|
|Day 5||Red Earth Creek||7|
|Day 6||Consolation Lakes||4|
Total Distance: 44 miles
- Shadow Lake Lodge - exclusive backcountry lodge
- Mountaineer Lodge
- Storm Mountain Lodge